Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!

Sew Mama Sew‘s Giveaway Day brings bloggers, designers and brands together for one giant collaborative giveaway event. It’s a tremendous time for new product discoveries, fun connections with your favorite blogs, introductions to a wide range of brand new blogs AND it allows all of us to have a bit of fun with all of you! It’s an exciting time and we’re thrilled to be a part of it for another year.

dec72016

This year, Aurifil has not one, but TWO fabulous giveaways. One is open to US-participants ONLY and one is open Internationally. These bundles feature two extremely talented designers with recent Aurifil thread collection releases and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have a new opportunity to showcase them today!

DOMESTIC/US ONLY GIVEAWAYamandamurphy-sewmamasew

The threads for Amanda Murphy‘s debut Aurifil collections were selected to coincide with her Benartex fabric collections Sewing Room and Feathers & Flourishes The large box features a variety of 50wt threads in addition to Aurifil’s clear monofilament thread, Amanda’s choices for both piecing and quilting. The small box features her top choices in both 12wt & 28wt, making it an excellent  sampler for anyone looking to try appliqué with heavier weight threads.

This giveaway is for 1 Large Thread Box, 1 Small Thread Box and 1 Fat Quarter Bundle of Sewing room by Amanda Murphy for Benartex. Click here or on the image above to access the Rafflecopter entry for this giveaway. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Saturday, July 30! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Sunday, July 31. Good luck!

To learn more about Amanda’s collections, please click here.

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAYsewillustrated

Minki Kim (aka @Zeriano) is a sewing illustrator and crafter known for her sweet and whimsical thread art. Minki selected her most used colors and thread weights for her debut Aurifil thread collection, Sew Illustrated. In her words, “Threads are like brushes. You need different sized brushes when you paint.” This collection is perfect for both beginner and seasoned sewing illustrators!

This giveaway is for 1 Large Thread Box, 1 Small Thread Box and 1 copy of Sew Illustrated by Minki Kim and Kristin Esser for Stash Books/C&T Publishing. Click here or on the image above to access the Rafflecopter entry for this giveaway. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 8:00pm EST on Sunday, December 11! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Wednesday, December 14. Good luck!

To learn more about Minki’s collections, please click here.

———————–

Don’t forget to head on over to Sew Mama Sew to check out all of the amazing giveaways featured on some other great blogs and make some new friends!

Good luck and happy stitching!!

Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-9-08-47-pm

Paula Nadelstern‘s Deep Gems collection for Aurifil was prepared as a representation of the vibrant and rich colors typically present within her kaleidoscopic fabric designs. Oranges, reds and pink offset the cool blue and green tones, creating a truly fantastic range. Though these colors work particularly well in partner with Paula’s unique quilting style, they would also be the perfect complement to a variety of quilt projects. The collection features 12 unique colors of the highly versatile 50wt thread.

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Deep Gems
12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2145 – 2150 – 2270 – 2260 – 4020 – 2545
5022 – 1147 – 2870 – 2810 – 2735 – 1200

paulanadelstern-deepgems

To view this info on our website, click the image above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of quilting and textiles?
I’m a New Yorker wrapped up in the fabric of city life. In fact, I make my quilts on the same block in the Bronx where I grew up. I settled into full time quilt making by way of the playground park bench. That’s where moms on hiatus from previous lives (I was an Occupational Therapist) hang out and share ideas—like organizing total non-sewists and quilt novices into making a raffle quilt for the local cooperative nursery school, the same one I’d gone to as a toddler. One good group quilt led to another and another. By the time I gave up my place on that bench to the next generation of moms, I had the expertise and repertoire for a comprehensive book on group quilts (Quilting Together, Crown Publishers 1988) and was stitching my way toward a new career. And to this day, over 40 years later, the Nursery moms make an annual raffle quilt.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
My interest in things kaleidoscopic began in 1987 when I was struck by a bolt of fabric–a sumptuous, sinfully-expensive, bilaterally symmetrical Liberty of London cotton. Little did I know that purchasing a quarter yard would change my life forever, leading me three years and four quilts later to purchase my first actual state-of-the-art kaleidoscope and join the Brewster Kaleidoscope Society, The BKS is a society of artists who design and create kaleidoscopes, galleries and shops who sell kaleidoscopes and collectors and museums who appreciate and enjoy them.

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The amazing first bolt of Liberty of London fabric

The insight from this anecdote is obvious: buy that piece of fabric no matter how expensive it is. As I peer through the many incredible kaleidoscopes I have garnered over the years, like a sleuth searching for clues, I discover my design inspiration all over again. Who knows what the next turn of the scope will reveal to me or to you?

With hindsight I’ve realized that another factor played strongly in the development of my personal design and technique strategies. Historians have suggested that the block-style method of making quilts evolved in response to the cramped quarters of early American life. My family’s living arrangements in an urban environment created similar considerations that, unwittingly, I resolved in much the same way.

When I started making kaleidoscope quilts, my workspace in our two-bedroom apartment was the forty-inch round kitchen table. (I’m the only person I know who taught her family to eat in front of the TV). I think the reality of limited space helped shape my idiosyncratic style. Instead of the traditional square-shaped-block, my block-style method is based on a triangle because a kaleidoscope is a circular design composed of identical triangular wedges that radiate from a center point. Throughout the design stage, I’m working on a single full-size triangle that is drafted on graph paper and patched from fabric using templates. Whatever I do to one triangle, I simultaneously do to all 6 or 8 or 16. I don’t see the final gestalt until the last seam is sewn.

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
Lots of teachers on the circuit will tell you about the important female in their early lives who taught them to how to sew, insisting (kindly or not) that all imperfection be repaired. I grew up with a mom who prided herself on not being “fussy”, mended a lot (a habit left over from the Depression) and generously appraised every attempt of mine as either great or good enough. I am not complaining. When, as a young teen, I borrowed her much revered but temperamental second-hand, brand-name sewing machine, the bobbin would jam within minutes. Although this led me to suspect I wasn’t very good at sewing, I returned to it again and again because there is something optimistic about a palette of colorful, tactile fabric.

My matriarchal aunt’s gift to sixteen-year-old me of a steadfast Singer Featherweight©, purchased for $25 at a yard sale and fitted with a single hole throat plate, changed all that. (I used to call it an old machine until I learned it was a year younger than I am.) Together we made my first quilt (a comforter cover really) in 1968 in my college dorm, ripping up my old clothes into 10” squares and sewing them together. I was exceptionally proud of it and so was my mom. Today I work in a 15-by-10-foot studio revamped from my daughter’s former bedroom. Picture ceiling high cupboards stuffed with fabric, drawers overflowing with the paraphernalia quilters collect, 6 feet of design wall, and a Bernina poised for action on a 4-by-6-foot counter.

Paula's prized first quilt

Paula’s prized first quilt

Your book, Fabracadabra, was just released with C&T Publishing. Can you tell us a bit about that process and what you loved most about it?
I’ve been told that I write books pretty much the same way that I make quilts. Fabric by fabric. Choice by choice. In a word, slowly.

The truth is, I’d rather be working on a quilt than writing about it. But it’s not until you write about something that you understand it really well. Breaking down your own creative act, first by identifying your personal strategies, and then by dividing them into a sequence of steps, forces you to reflect on what things aren’t as well as what they are. This exploration steers you in lots of valuable directions. It leads you to the vocabulary needed to articulate your private visual language. It helps you recognize the kinds of mistakes students are likely to make and head them off in class. And sometimes, when you are very lucky, it awakens new ideas, pushing you, the artist, further along your creative path.

fabracadabra

The book demonstrates how quilts made of simple shapes can be transformed into complex-looking quilts that are easy to piece using gorgeous, intricate fabric. Some, but not all, of the quilts are traditional patterns, gift-wrapped with charismatic fabrics.

Do you have a favorite project from the book?
One of my favorite quilts from my new book FABRICADABRA, Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric is the quilt called An Agreement of Butterflies.

I was waiting to give my lecture to the Prairie Quilt Guild in Wichita, KS when a traditional butterfly quilt held up during Show & Tell captured my attention. In a flash, I recognized a kindred pattern capable of showcasing a gazillion symmetrical prints all at once. Choosing the fabrics bewitched me into a flow state, the name for those glorious moments when you’re so energized by the task at hand that time seems immaterial. I made many more 5” x 5” squares than needed.

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

Closeup of An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

The collective nouns for various groups of animals and birds amuse me. A shrewdness of apes. A murder of crows. I assumed there’d be one for butterflies but when I couldn’t find it, I made one up. Assembled from forty-nine different fabrics (plus a common butterfly belly and black background equals fifty-one) from my first thirteen fabric collections for Benartex, these diverse colors and prints seem to be in accord — that’s why I called it An Agreement of Butterflies. So, color me speechless when a second internet search, six months after the first one, revealed labels for a multitude of butterflies. A rabble of butterflies. A flutter of butterflies. An equally appealing quilt title, a rainbow of butterflies. But the perfect coincidence, the goose bump laden karmic moment was the phrase: a kaleidoscope of butterflies. It must be true, I Googled it.

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

An Agreement of Butterflies by Paula Nadelstern

In your work, you herald the kaleidoscope, a word you say promises ‘surprise and magic, change and chance’. How has this informed your quilting style?
For almost forty years, the kaleidoscope has not only been my design inspiration, it’s also been my classroom. Analyzing not only what a scope is but also what it isn’t has steered me in lots of valuable directions, including toward the fundamental principles of design. I’ve learned to manipulate physical properties like focal point, rhythm and line to inject a feeling of motion into an otherwise static image. But it is the unique qualities synonymous with the kaleidoscope personality that I’m always trying to get to know better. Surprise. Magic. Change. Chance. I’ve learned that to conjure an instant of luminous and fleeting spontaneity, I’ve got to trust in symmetry, rely on detail, commit both random and staged acts of color and understand that the whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts. No matter what my quilts look like in the future, this personal design vocabulary, gleaned through the eyepiece of a kaleidoscope, will take the journey with me.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using Aurifil 50 weight for years for piecing. My larger quilts can end up with thousands of seams. I like that I can rely on the combination of delicacy with strength because it helps keep the multitude of seams thin and not bulky.

I’ve used Aurifil 12 in many of the beautiful colors for embroidery and for a big stitch echoing a hand quilting stitch.

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

Paula at 2013 Quilt Market in Houston

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, is my first quilt using only fabric from collections I’ve designed for Benartex and the first one quilted by me on a long arm machine courtesy of APQS. In 2013, I spent Houston Quilt Market in the APQS booth, quilting this extremely patterned piece, mentored by the delightful, generous staff. I think the choice of an olive Aurifil thread was brilliant. I’m fascinated by the effect, the impression that the thread changes colors, chameleon-like, against the multitude of hues in the quilt: golden, green, dark, light.

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, Paula Nadelstern (2013)

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXXVIII: Millifiori, 82“x 82“, Paula Nadelstern (2013)

How did you go about selecting threads for your Aurifil collection and what excites you most about the range that you are presenting?
My intent when selecting the colors for my Aurifil collection was like my goal when I design fabric for Benartex. I want to offer beautiful stuff that can be used in a myriad of ways for anyone’s piecing adventure, not just to be used to make kaleidoscopic designs. I welcome color and motif inspiration whenever I’m lucky enough to notice it: an elevator door, a set of Italian dishes, a painting at the Met, the arabesque patterns in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on a teaching trip to Abu Dhabi.

deepgems-paulanadelstern

These charismatic and luminous jewel tones tickle my imagination. In fact, I plan to use DEEP GEMS as the inspiration for one of the colorways in my next fabric collection. I can’t wait to see what happens.

THE GIVEAWAY

pn-rafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Large Deep Gems by Paula Nadelstern for Aurifil Thread Collection + 1 copy of Fabracadabra by Paula Nadelstern for C& T Publishing and 2 bundles of Kismet by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex , click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, December 14! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, December 15. Good luck!

ABOUT PAULA
paula-profilePaula’s quilts have achieved international recognition for the innovative and complex designs inspired by the bilateral symmetry of kaleidoscopic images. Honored by inclusion in the Twentieth Century’s 100 Best American Quilts, her designs have inspired products including the vast carpet in the Hilton Americas hotel in Houston, TX and were showcased in the American Folk Art Museum’s first one person exhibition highlighting the work of a contemporary quilt artist (2009). In addition to numerous awards, Paula was a recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Bronx Council on the Arts. She is the author of FABRACADABRA, Simple Quilts, Complex Fabric, Kaleidoscopes & Quilts, Snowflakes & Quilts, Puzzle Quilts: Simple Blocks, Complex Fabric, Paula Nadelstern’s Kaleidoscope Quilts: An Artist’s Journey Continues, and Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Workbook. She designs textile prints exclusively for Benartex, Inc. and lives in New York City with her husband, Eric. her daughter, Ariel, lives a block away. 

Learn more about Paula on her website — http://paulanadelstern.com/

Showcase Sunday {12.4}

showcasesunday12-4

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted a  Showcase Sunday, so welcome back! We love having a forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do!  We can’t get enough of the lovely things that you’re making, so keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching:).

(Click on any image below to visit the artist’s Instagram account for more!)

@charmaboutyou

@charmaboutyou

@josewshandmade

@josewshandmade

@iamlunasol

@iamlunasol

@skinnymalinkyquilts

@skinnymalinkyquilts

@quiltyhabit

@quiltyhabit

@nightquilter

@nightquilter

@mybearpaw

@mybearpaw

@gardenvarietycookie

@gardenvarietycookie

@lappelises_quiltestue

@lappelises_quiltestue

@lesliepeterson5

@lesliepeterson5

@pieladyquilts

@pieladyquilts

@bigstitchquilting

@bigstitchquilting

@ml_wilkie

@ml_wilkie

@chelsierosner

@chelsierosner

@misterdomestic

@misterdomestic

@mrssophie2

@mrssophie2

Find free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following Aurifil on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

Top Ten Tuesday {Thanksgiving}

top-ten-tuesday-thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, we’re feeling particularly thankful for this supportive and creative sewing & quilting community of ours. What are you thankful for this year? Will you be sewing for the holiday? We’ve rounded up a few favorite projects to share. From potholders to placemats, soft books to quilts, there are projects here to suit every need! Have fun!

1. Patchwork Acorn Potholders — Jedi Craft Girl for Thermoweb

patchwork-acorn-potholders

2. Fabric Napkin Bread Warmer — Tried and True

bun-warmer-napkin-free-pattern-8

3. Modern Maples Quilt – Diary of a Quilter

modern-maples

4. Thanksgiving Quiet Book — How Does She

holiday-quiet-book-21

5. Thanksgiving Banner — Tell & Love Party

thankfulbanner

6. Fall Placemat Tutorial — A Quilting Life

fallplacemat

7. Acorn Pillow — Hey Let’s Make Stuff

acorn-pillow-wide-750-x-500

8. Tom Turkey Placemat — Bee in my Bonnet

tomturkeyplacemat

9. Fabric Turkey Headband — Rae Gun Ramblings

turkeyheadband

10. Homemade Pie — Bee in my Bonnet

homemadepie

 

 

Aurifil 2016 November Designer of the Month Kim Niedzwiecki

I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our November Designer is the incredible designer and a good friend of mine,  Kim Niedzwiecki. She write at Go Go Kim

Once you meet Kim, you’ve made a friend for life, you just know it will be that way! I first meet her at a trade show and she came swirling around the corner (as she NEVER goes slow) all bubbly and fun in the most amazing outfit she had sewn. We hit it off and.. well.. i think we chat now every day, you are going to LOVE Kim as much as I do.

Listen to Kim chat with me  on my Talk Show Aug 12, 2013 and learn how she got the name ‘Go Go’!

Let’s get to know Kim!

Continue reading

Quilt Market, Part 2

dscn0665

We’re back with our last wrap up post from International Quilt Market! One exciting thing about Quilt Market is the opportunity to see all the beautiful booths created by our fellow designers and industry professionals. There is so much hard work that goes into each and every detail, and we’re excited to share some of our favorites with you!

We stopped by the Marcus Fabrics booth to chat with Aurifil designers Sarah Maxwell and Victoria Findlay Wolfe!

This year, thanks to Facebook, we broadcasted live videos right from the exhibit floor! It was a blast getting to interact with the designers while showing off their booths and new projects.

 

The Moda Fabrics booth had quite a super theme this year.😉

photo-oct-29-3-04-40-pm-1

We loved exploring the booths of our Moda Designers and cannot wait for these new fabric collections to come out. Which one is your favorite?

 

Patty Sloniger and Sandra Clemons are two of our new Aurifil designers with Michael Miller Fabrics. Their new collections are bright and beautiful!

 

We stopped off at the Windham Fabrics booth and had such a blast catching up with Aurifil designers Carrie Bloomston, Angela Pingel, and Heather Givans. Heather‘s new fabric line, Literary, brings out the bookworm in all of us!

 

Tammy Silvers has a beautiful new collection and we loved hearing more about it on our Island Batik booth tour. We loved getting the full tour from Elizabeth Phillips, along with the opportunity to check in with fellow Island Batik Designers Barbara Persing of Fourth & Sixth Designs, Audrey and Cheri of Cheri Good Designs and Jackie Kunkel of CV Quilt Works.

 

Our walk through of the Robert Kaufman booth was so much fun! We loved having Elizabeth and Nicole guide us through the booth meeting each of our Aurifil designers.

 

Do you love the Hoffman Challenge? We chatted with Michelle at Hoffman Fabrics about next years amazing fabrics, and of course the coordinating Aurifil thread collection!

There is so much to see at Market, and there never seems to be enough time to catch every little thing. Here are more of our favorite things from around the Quilt Market exhibit floor!

We had an absolute blast and cannot wait to see everyone again next spring in St. Louis, MO!

Introducing Aurifil 80wt

carolynfriedlander80wt1

One of our very favorite things about International Quilt Market in Houston, TX last month was the official launch of our brand new 80wt thread! Yes, you read that right! 100% Cotton 80wt Thread from Aurifil is here!

We’ve seen terrific feedback from shop owners, designers and industry experts and feel strongly that this will be your new go-to for Free Motion Quilting, Machine Embroidery, Free Motion Couching, English Paper Piecing, Hand Appliqué, Machine Appliqué, and more!

80wtslider-carolyn2

Wound on cherry wood spool bases, the 80wt comes in a total of 88 colors. For access to a pdf color chart, please click on the image below.

AURI cart. cot. CMYB interno NEW crocini OK.cdr

80wtSpools by Carolyn Friedlander

image by Carolyn Friedlander

EXPERIMENTING WITH AURIFIL 80WT
Before launching a brand new thread weight, we wanted to test it out with some of our trusted experts, our Aurifil Designers. We sent samples of the 80wt out to a range of designers to play with the thread, create with it, and send us some feedback. We were thrilled with the responses and loved hearing about all of the new ways these talented creatives were using the thread. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for hand work! There are so many other wonderful ways to use this strong, yet fine, thread.

SHEENA NORQUAY:sheenanorquay80wt2

The sample pictured above was prepared by Aurifil Designer and master quilter, Sheena Norquay. She wanted to experiment with the 80wt, to stretch it to the limits and see what it could do. She used Oakshott Cotton fabric and Hobbs Tuscany Wool Batting. We had this piece on display in our Market booth and love that it shows such a wonderful range of techniques for the 80wt.

  • Line 1: Couched acrylic yarn using black 2692 and couching foot no. 21 on Bernina 1090 machine
  • Lines 2, 3, & 13 – 18: Decorative stitches on Bernina 1090 machine.
  • Line 4: Couched acrylic yarn using blue 5007 and couching foot no. 21 on Bernina machine 1008.
  • Lines 5 – 10: Free motion quilted on Bernina 1008
  • Lines 11 -12: Hand quilted
  • Lines 19 -22: Straight stitching and zig zag stitching using walking foot on Bernina Activa 230
  • Lines 23 and 24: Free motion couching using acrylic yarn and black no. 80 thread on Bernina Activa 135
  • Top 80: Free motion quilted on Bernina 1008
  • Centre 80 – hand quilted
  • Bottom 80 – free motion quilted on to layer of wadding and then outlined on Bernina 1008
  • Right hand side – doodling using free motion quilting on Bernina Activa 135.

Sheena’s Wave Bird was free motion couched on a Bernina Activa 135 using Aurifil 80wt in #2725 bright blue.

sheenanorquay80wt3

by Sheena Norquay

The wave was quilted using the walking foot on a Bernina Activa 230 and the same #2725. The radiating lines were twin needled using the walking foot with both #2725 and #2605 grey. The free motion quilting between the twin needled lines was done with #5007 on a Bernina 1008. Another example example of the range of the 80wt.

80wtslider-sheena

SEW4HOME:
We turned to Sew4Home for additional feedback and they were more than happy to try the 80wt for Machine Embroidery. In their words: “With the super fine Aurifil 80wt, the complexity of the stitches possible in a small area is astounding.”

2286-lions-head-tote-2

We were blown away by the stunning projects that they created, including the Lion Head Machine Embroidered Mini Tote (shown above), the Autumn Leaves Machine Cross Stitch Placemats & Napkins and the Gingham Fruit Machine Appliqué Kitchen Towels (both shown below).

We had a chance to chat with Liz Johnson, Sew4Home editor, while at Quilt Market.

ADDITIONAL FEEDBACK:
“Aurifil’s 80wt is so fine it’s like silk.” – Amy Sinibaldi, Nana Company

“Aurifil’s 80wt is great for hand appliqué!” – Pat Sloan

80wtslider-jenna

“I am beyond excited about your new thread.  It will be the only thread I carry on my website, once I’m able to order it.” – Anne Sutton, Bunny Hill Designs

“I do not do a lot of hand sewing or needle-turned appliqué but this would be my go to thread for light-duty sewing projects where you wanted to hide the stitching.“ – Sharon Holland

80wtslider-carolyn3

“The 80wt is really nice for machine appliqué. I have always used 50 weight but the 80 weight gave me a much more hand appliquéd look. I was able to use a smaller needle and that meant smaller needle holes as well!” Elizabeth Phillips of Island Batik

80wtslider-anne2

Aurifil 80wt by Anne Sutton    Aurifil Spools by Rita Hodge    Aurifil 80wt by Pat Sloan[click on any of the 3 images above to view designer posts about Aurifil 80wt thread]

WHERE TO FIND IT:
Aurifil’s brand new 80wt thread will be available at your local quilt shop starting in December. We are just starting to ship out displays and stock. There are a few locations that did receive the thread early as a part of our market research, so you may wish to take a peek at Fat Quarter Shop & Sew Inspired.

What excites you most about the 80wt? What would you plan to make? We can’t wait to see what you do!

Quilt Market, Part 1

qm-booth4

It’s hard to believe that another International Quilt Market & Festival in Houston, Texas has come and gone. With so much prep and anticipation, the event itself always seems to pass in the blink of an eye. We had such an amazing time — reconnecting with industry friends, greeting our treasured shop owners and distributors, getting those fabulous sneak previews of all the new and wonderful things to come. Fabric launches, new tool introductions, book signings, and, of course, so much glorious thread! We debuted a record number of collections this time around and we’re excited to showcase each and every one over the coming months. But for now, a peek at our booth and our schoolhouses with a bit of sample spree love thrown in for good measure. Thanks Houston, it was a blast!!

SCHOOLHOUSES
We were so honored and excited to present the premier schoolhouse this year.

aurifilunwound

The premier event is presented as the very first schoolhouse of the day and gives the opportunity to reach all registrants at once in a giant room!

qm-schoolhouseroom

Elena Gregotti kicked the event off with an introduction to Aurifil and its history, including photos of she and Alex as children in Egypt, traveling to find the best Cotton with their fathers. Alex Veronelli gave a condensed version of his famous lectures, delighting attendees with the process of how Aurifil threads are made. Designer Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs and shop owner Jill Reicks of Sew Inspired both spoke about their experiences with Aurifil’s new 80wt thread, and Pat Sloan closed with a few fabulous Aurifil shout-outs and a handful of giveaways.

We were lucky to share the experience with over 1100 quilters, shop owners, designers and industry professionals. It was truly magical and we had an absolute blast! Stay tuned for more info on our brand new 80wt thread!

Our second schoolhouse of the day was in support of the Kennel Quilts Program benefitting the Petfinder Foundation. Piece for Shelter Pets was launched in October by a wonderful lineup of industry partners. You can learn more about it here.

THE BOOTH
For our booth, we swapped our Auricar decal for an array of iconic 50wt thread spools. Skeins of thread in a rainbow of hues hung along the outside walls.

Alex Veronelli took to the scooter to zip down the aisles at Market. What a fabulous way to get around!

Quilt Market is a big place -- best to get around quickly on a fab scooter!

Our thread displays showcased small and large spools in various weights in addition to a range of home and designer collections.

The Colors of Moda is a new, custom-designed box showcasing small spools of Aurifil’s 50wt thread in a wonderful variety colors. The threads coordinate with a range of Moda‘s Bella Solids.

A few of our new releases on display.

The Quilter’s Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts. Stunning!

Quilter's Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Quilter’s Patch Quilt by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts

Our brand new 80wt thread was the big hit of Market. We’ll be sharing all sorts of info on the 80wt with you tomorrow, so stay tuned! Aren’t those little wooden spools just darling?

qm-80wtthread

A rich display of Aurifil 80wt threads. The sample shown was created for us by Aurifil Designer and master quilter Sheena Norquay. She wanted to showcase the 80wt thread used in a variety of different techniques.

qm-80wtthread2

Pat Sloan showcases the 2015 Aurifil DOM quilt. 2015 Designers were challenged to make a mini. For this quilt, Pat recreated each mini and incorporated them all into one quilt. We absolutely adore it! All fabrics used are her own and she used Aurifil 50wt thread. We’ll have more information for you on this quilt soon! If you’re looking for the patterns, check out our patterns page.

qm-2015domquilt

This is Marmalade’s Merriment by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. This darling pattern will be available as a free pattern with purchase of Wendy’s brand new thread collection, Marmalade Meadows. The collection was created to coordinate with Bleecker Street from Quilting Treasures.

qm-booth13

Aurifil Designer Christa Watson showcases her two debut thread collections for Aurifil thread.  The quilt shown is ‘Choosing Colors’ from her book The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting. Christa used 9 different colors of Aurifil thread to complete the quilt.

qm-christawatson

Alex Veronelli showcases a gorgeous sample made for us by Susan of @yardgrl60 using our Aurifloss.

qm-alexaurifilsamples

One of our favorite parts about Market is having the opportunity to meet up with our amazingly talented designers.

SAMPLE SPREE
What would Market be without Sample Spree? The frenzy and the excitement… the walking away with 10 boxes of thread and 10 new Fat Quarter bundles;). We’ve always loved seeing photos of the loot after the fact and love the buzz of energy that rolls through the room. We brought a mix of both house and designer collections.

samplespree-display

Aurifil House Collections

That’s all for now! We’ll be back tomorrow with everything you want to know about our new 80wt thread!!

 

What’s Your Super Power?

modaboothhop-mmg

International Quilt Market starts today and while thousands of industry creatives will cross the threshold at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX, even more of us will be following along from home. We’ll be at work, at home, running errands… We’ll be living vicariously through Instagram and Facebook Live, eagerly anticipating each new post showcasing the stunning fabric collections, beautifully constructed booths, hot new products, luscious Aurifil thread collections and so much more. This year, our friends at Moda have assembled an awesome team of companies for a booth hop that will surely be the talk of the event… What is your Super Power??  

Each participating booth will have one basket full of Super Power Tools to give away, and we’ve reserved one for one lucky person following along at home. This basket will have SO many amazing goodies… including fabric, magazines, quilty tools, and even a cone of Aurifil thread. So, let us know what your Super Power is, enter for a chance to win some seriously stupendous goodies, and chase away those Missing Market Blues!!

Featured Companies:
Moda Fabrics 
Aurifil
Clover
American Patchwork & Quilting
Martingale
American Quilt Retailer
Bloc Loc

Moda Designers:
Robin PickensMe & My Sister DesignsBetsy ChutchianSweetwaterBunny Hill DesignsJen Kingwell DesignsAmerican JaneGingiberBrenda Riddle DesignsZen ChicJan PatekFrench GeneralMinick & SimpsonPat SloanKansas TroublesKate SpainJanet ClareWenche Wolff HatlingLella BoutiqueLaundry Basket QuiltsStacy Iest HsuBlackbird DesignsKathy SchmitzBasic GreyPrimitive Gatherings

To enter-to-win, simply click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page or click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 4pm Central Time on October 31st! This giveaway is open to all of our International friends as well! Good luck, have fun, and happy creating!!

UPDATE: Thank you to all who played along!! We certainly have a wonderful collection of inspired superpowers:). Congratulations to Judy Tillott! 

moda-superpower

Piece and Quilt by Christa Watson

christaquilts

Christa Watson of Christa Quilts fell in love with quilting back in 1994 and never looked back! She is now known as an authority on machine quilting and has two recent book releases to support her passion, Machine Quilting with Style and The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting (co-authored with Angela Walters). Christa’s debut Aurifil thread collections pull from her go-to thread 50wt threads in Colors and Neutrals. These collections are the perfect companion for any quilting project!

[illustrations by Sabrina Vincent]

THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Piece and Quilt Collection: Colors

12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2250 – 1133 – 2920 – 2130 – 2884 – 2886 – 2783 – 2725 – 2520 – 1148 – 4020 – 2425

christwatson-pieceandquiltcolors

Piece and Quilt Collection: Neutrals
12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2024 – 2311 – 2405 – 2315 – 2615 – 5007 – 2605 – 1246 – 2326 – 5021 – 2372 – 4241

christwatson-pieceandquiltneutrals

To view this info on our website, click the image above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

THE INTERVIEW
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of quilting?
Growing up, my mom was a very talented seamstress and I remember going to the fabric store to pick out funky prints which she would then sew into wild pants and mini skirts for me. (I was into the “mod” style back then – if anyone even remembers what that was!!) But she never made any quilts, so I hadn’t ever seen one before. She tried to get me involved in sewing but I was NOT interested at all. However, I do remember fondly sticking straight pins into the holes of her old Singer sewing machine, wondering where they went…

1-christa-quilts

Fast forward to my early twenties, and my quilting journey started when some church friends invited me to tie quilts for charity. Exploring the fabrics, and making each hand-tied stitch was the most fun, tactile thing I’d ever done. One of these friends invited me over to her house to make a quilted pillow a few weeks later, and I was hooked! It was love at first stitch. I clearly remember my friend showing me how to use her machine which was some brand I had never heard of before – a BERNINA. All these years later I am still a loyal BERNINA fan and I’m also a brand ambassador for the company.

Of course, what comes around goes around, as I discovered many years ago, when I found my young children gleefully sticking straight pins into the holes of my new sewing machine!

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
My first quilt was made for my husband Jason – a simple nine patch made for his birthday during our first year of marriage. (That was 22 years ago!) I remember making one block at a time, with a sewing machine borrowed from my mom. I didn’t know anything about using quarter inch seams, so no two blocks were the same size. But I remember feeling so proud as each block came off of the machine, and he still uses that quilt to this day! I’m kind of embarrassed to share it, but it just goes to show I’ve come a loooong way in my quilting journey!

2-my-first-quilt

First Quilt

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I have to give my mom credit here for not punishing me for playing with her pins, buttons and scraps when I was younger. Although it took me awhile to finally find sewing, she was always encouraging me in my crafty endeavors growing up. We tried everything from potato stamp carving and candy making to ceramics and crochet but none of them ever stuck. When I finally found quilting, she was eager to be my first quilting student, which then led me down the path of making quilting my career. After all, if you can teach your mom to do something fun and rewarding, you can teach anyone, right??

3-pile-of-quilts

Christa’s Pile of Quilts

 What do you love most about the art of machine quilting?
I love seeing the hand of the maker in one’s art, and I enjoy the fact that I can give my quilts a final layer of texture and design, using my own hands. Moving the quilt under the machine is a very meditative process for me, and I don’t worry about perfection as I form each stitch. It all goes back to that tactile quality which I love so much.

 

4-both-books

You released your first book, Machine Quilting with Style last year, and recently released your second quilting book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, co-authored with Angela Walters. What was the process of writing those books like and what did you love most about them?
In both books, I’ve been able to include patterns for not only how to piece the quilts, but how to quilt them, too, so they are both like two books in one. From the start, when I began teaching quilting on a regular basis, I would take my students through the entire process of making a complete quilt, from start to finish.

Writing both of these books has allowed me to take the teaching process I developed over the years and put it into book form, with the enthusiasm and encouragement I offer in my live classes.

Working with Angela on the second book was a fabulous experience. She quilts on a long-arm while I quilt on a sit-down domestic machine, and we both agree that it’s so important for our readers to have fun and not stress while they discover the type of quilting that appeals to them the most.

5-facets

Facets

Do you have a favorite project from the book?
My favorite quilt from Machine Quilting with Style is Facets. It was the first quilt I designed for the book and once I came up with it, I knew I was onto something. It allows you to combine both walking foot quilting and free-motion quilting, which is my favorite way to quilt.

My favorite quilt from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting is Swirling Butterflies because it’s the first time I made a wholecloth quilt. I really stretched my skills with that one, and I love that both books offer a wide variety of designs for all skill levels. Both quilts were entirely pieced and quilted with Aurifil thread, of course!!

6-swirling-butterflies

Swirling Butterflies

 If you could recommend one pattern that would be an excellent starting point for machine quilting beginners, what would it be and why?
I would recommend Little Man’s Fancy from Machine Quilting with Style, quilted with “shattered” straight lines. The one block quilt is fast and easy to make and the size is easy enough to handle under the machine for the first time out. Straight lines are quilted haphazardly allover the quilt so the process is super fun and fast and there’s literally no way to mess it up. Whenever I teach beginners I always like to start with walking foot quilting because it gives them the confidence that their quilts can look great with minimal practice and effort. Then, once I have them hooked, I ease them into gradually more complex designs.

 

7-little-mans-fancy

Little Man’s Fancy

 When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using them since the summer of 2013 after I kept seeing the name pop everywhere on social media. In all my years of quilting I had never found the brand that was right for everything I wanted to do. When I noticed that all my friends and those I follow were raving about them on social media, I had to give them a try. Once I did, I quickly cleaned out my thread stash and got rid of everything else! In fact, I know the date because I wrote about them on my blog for the first time here.

Christa loves matching her threads to her fabrics!

Christa loves matching her threads to her fabrics!

I love all of the colors of the 50 weight cotton because I can use them for everything I do – piecing, quilting and binding. I like to use matching or blending threads when I machine quilt, so only storing one type of thread for everything really simplifies my quilting life. Plus, any leftover bobbins from machine quilting can be used when I piece or bind my next scrappy quilt. For me, that means no more wasted thread and tons more sewing efficiency!

How did you go about selecting threads for your Piece and Quilt Collection, and what excites you most about the range that you are presenting?
When I first set out to curate my collection, I took a good hard look at the colors I used the most in my own work. When I finally narrowed it down, I realized I had two collections – Colors and Neutrals. As the name implies, these 24 spools can help you make all of your quilts. The colored assortment includes the entire rainbow spectrum so there’s a color for everything. And you’d be surprised how well the colors will blend, even if it’s not an exact match.

Choosing Colors Quilt – Using Christa's favorite colors

Choosing Colors Quilt – Using Christa’s favorite colors

The neutrals include my favorite white and cream, my favorite “almost” black which shows up better on black fabric than pure black, three shades of gray (light, medium, dark), and a range of 6 other neutrals which fill in the gaps. I’ve been experimenting over the last few months, using only these colors from both collections and so far, they’ve been all I need. Like I said, I love simplicity and I hope you will, too!

AURIFIL DESIGNER OF THE MONTH
Christa was the Aurifil Designer of the Month for March 2016. Click on the image below to download her block pattern and learn more about the DOM program!

improv_star_styled1 

BOOKS
 8b_Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting     8a_Machine Quilting With Style

THE GIVEAWAY

christawatson-pieceandquiltrafflecopter

To enter-to-win 1 Large Piece and Quilt Aurifil Thread Collection + your choice of either Machine Quilting with Style or The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 26! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, October 27. Good luck!

Update: This Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered and Congratulations to our winner, Donna Cutting!!

ABOUT CHRISTA
BlogInstagramFacebookQuilt With Christa on Facebook
10-focal-pointChrista Watson is an award winning quilter, pattern designer, EQ artist and author who loves to teach others how to successfully quilt on a home sewing machine. She considers herself a cheerleader for the DIY modern aesthetic. She’s heavily involved in both modern and traditional quilt guilds and loves to encourage everyone to enjoy the style of quilting that appeals to them. Christa lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and three children who all think it’s normal to have a house full of fabric. Visit her at ChristaQuilts.com.

Get one of Christa’s free patterns here: http://eepurl.com/BZ3mL